Have you ever purchased something without seeing it first?

 

I don’t mean an online product from eBay or Amazon. What I am talking about is something that you bought without seeing what you were actually purchasing. You don’t think so? I am certain that you have done that.

 

When did you go to the cinema last and see a movie? I read somewhere that the Hollywood founders loved the concept in the movie industry of customers purchasing tickets before they have seen the actual product – the movie. Isn’t that a great concept? There is really no logic to paying for it before you see something. But it is true. You pay for a movie before knowing whether you are going to like it! And if it ends up being a bad movie… well tough. There isn’t anything you can really do about it… there are no refunds!

 

In the business world, you cannot get away with something like this, fortunately. However, with video production, you buy a product without seeing it until the end, and on some productions that could end up being weeks or months before you see it.

 

I send quotes from MotionFish Media Project to people all of the time who I have never met before. We produce online video courses, corporate videos, event videos – you name it, we do it.

 

Generally speaking, I always have a long talk with a client or I meet them in person before they decide whether or not to work with us. That is because production is like an intense, short term relationship, and it needs to work in order for both of the parties to be satisfied and happy. It is kind of like dating (I’ve wanted to be able to use this analogy for a long time.) Fortunately, we are very good at relationships.

 

The main question to ask yourself is what should you be looking for when selecting a video production company? Some of the most important characteristics are below.

Rapport

 

Whether you are meeting face to face, or through text messages, emails, or phone calls, it is important to clearly understand the company or person you are interested in working with. You will be communicating a lot, you need to consult with them, discuss edited drafts, and more. You need to ensure they understand you and that you like them.

 

Most important of all, do they really understand your brief and creative vision?


Quality of work

 

Does the company or person have a quality portfolio of work and produced videos that are similar to the kinds you are searching for? That is key. There is a big difference between the showreel of a video production company and their portfolio of actual work. Always make sure you look at their portfolio. It’s great if they have an incredible showreel clip that has tons of special effects. However, if you want to have an online video course made, they might not be the best company unless they have actual experience with producing online video courses. A flashy showreel clip won’t tell you. Check out their previous work and then call the company or person to find out if they can make the video you want.

Production Deadlines.

 

Find out how long it will take for them to make the videos that you want. Ask about a production schedule and ensure there are clear delivery dates. When creating videos, there are a number of key dates. For example, there is a date for filming, an editing date, for the first draft, the second draft, the delivery date, and so forth.

Video Production Budget

 

Budget. This is among the toughest ones. How much does it cost for a video? I hate to say this but it really does depend. There can be huge variations in price. I typically like to divide up production companies into three major price categories:

 

– The freelance videographer (least expensive, no staff, no overhead). Most likely you will work with a one man or woman band. It can be a great solution for you if you have a small budget and you work well with the person. There are some really talented videographers out there. It is always a challenge to find reliable, talented people that you can work with in a saturated market that is full of people who claim they are ‘videographer.’ I recommend that you conduct a very thorough search and be careful with your selection process.

Video production company

 

(mid-range prices). You will work with a team of 3 to 6 individuals. The structure can offer you more than just one videographer since there will be a team of people who are working on your video. Everybody will have a specific role in the production process. For example, there will be an editor, camera operator, producer. In my opinion, this is the best setup. Each individual is an expert within their field. Also, you will have someone to talk to during the process who is not involved directly in creating the video. That is another advantage. Typically, a video production company will charge more than an individual videographer will.

High-end video production company

 

Typically these companies will charge high prices. You can expect to have a large crew, huge professional workflow, i.e. accounts manager, very high-quality technology and cameras, and so forth. A high-end company does offer some advantages, particularly if you would like to create videos with tv-production quality levels. However, the issues that we have had when we collaborate with this type of company is everything seems to take a very long time (since they have to justify their costs and typically are working on a lot of projects at the same time). Also, when you work with several production managers, producers, and account managers, you lose some rapport you can have when you work with just one or two individuals in a smaller setup.

 

Social proof

 

Case study videos, testimonials – before you take the leap of faith, always check to see if there are any reviews online about the company. Check Google reviews, and look on Facebook to see if they have posted any good video case studies. These days, unfortunately, written testimonials are not sufficient. Personally what I like to see are video case studies (we have created a few with some of our clients), however, Google reviews and Facebook can be a good indication as well. You can look to see if previous customers have had positive experiences and whether or not they have a good social footprint.

 

To summarize, there are hundreds of different video production companies in London, but like so many other businesses, it is all about the people and working to build trusting relationships so that you can select the right one for you. It isn’t just about locating the cheapest deal or finding the biggest camera around. We are not selling tickets to some Hollywood unknown action movie that you probably won’t even like. Making a video, for us, is first and foremost all about understanding you as well as your business needs and how we can best deliver the highest-quality videos to you within your budget and on time.

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